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Friday, May 9, 2008


Supporters of five initiative efforts cleared the first hurdle in getting on their proposals on the ballot when they submitted signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s Office by the May 5 deadline. The measures include three statutory changes – lifting the casino loss limit, requiring utilities to use more renewable energy and allowing home health care providers to unionize – and two separate proposed constitutional amendments to restrict the use of eminent domain.

Submitting signatures, however, is no guarantee the issues will make it on the November ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office first must verify that the petitions have sufficient numbers of valid signatures from registered voters. In 2006, only three of six submitted petitions had enough signatures to go before voters. The minimum number ranges from 86,000 to 95,000 for statutory change and 140,000 to 150,000 for a constitutional amendment. The verification process must be completed by Aug. 5.

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